San Francisco’s Rapid Transit Will Run Trains on 100% Renewable Energy

San Francisco's Rapid Transit Will Run Trains 100% Renewable Energy

The BART board of directors just passed an electrical portfolio policy that requires half of the organization’s power to come from renewables by 2025, and 100 percent by 2045. That has broader implications for the region, because the electric train system consumes roughly 400,000 megawatt-hours annually — equivalent to a small city like Alameda. And, due to a unique legislative carve-out, BART will procure this power itself.

“We’re doing this to advance clean energy, but we’re also doing this because we think it is cost effective,” said Sustainability Director Holly Gordon, who previously led legislative and regulatory affairs at Sunrun. “We feel as though we can purchase clean energy while maintaining low and stable costs for the district as well.”

BART already cuts area carbon emissions by lowering the number of single occupant automobiles sitting in traffic on the Bay Bridge each morning and evening. But the all-electric trains need considerable juice to run.

The board’s decision, then, models a key strategic pathway for jurisdictions worried about climate change: electrify crucial activities, like transportation, then decarbonize the electricity.

Read more at Greentech Media

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